The symptoms of a heart attack last longer than 5 minutes and, in men, include: chest pain or discomfort, as well as pain or discomfort in the left shoulder, arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach, explains Cleveland Clinic. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, sweating and a feeling of fullness.
During a heart attack, many people also experience indigestion, choking, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, anxiety, and the sensation of an irregular or rapid heart rate, according to Cleveland Clinic. It is important to seek immediate medical attention when the symptoms of a heart attack occur because early detection and treatment have the potential to reduce the amount of damage to the heart.
The pain and discomfort felt in the chest are generally localized to the left side of the chest and can be quite severe. The discomfort can be disguised as heartburn or indigestion, so it is important to pay attention to the severity of the symptoms, Mayo Clinic explains. Many early warning signs appear as mild discomfort with subtle symptoms, and men are advised to seek care rather than try to outlast symptoms, especially if the symptoms persist for more than five minutes, as stated by the American Heart Association.
The treatment of a heart attack usually begins in the ambulance and continues in the emergency room, explains WebMD. Certain medications and intervention methods work better when used within the first 2 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Medical treatment includes aspirin, antiplatelet medications and thrombolytic therapy. In many cases, patients who arrive at the hospital during or immediately after a heart attack are taken to the cardiac catheterization lab, explains WebMD. Once in the lab, doctors assess the severity of heart damage and the status of arteries. Depending on the results, patients may receive intervention that includes angioplasty or bypass surgery.